IT may have been a desperate start to the campaign at Guiseley, but perish the thought that anyone is even contemplating throwing the towel in regarding their National League survival bid.
That is the defiant message from chairman Phil Rogerson, who says that no-one is giving up hope yet despite the Lions parlous’ position, with no league wins on the board and just three points to the side’s name after 12 matches which have yielded a pitiful three points from 36.
As it stands, the rock-bottom Lions, who visit mid-table Sutton United tomorrow, are already eight points adrift of safety with just over a quarter of the season gone.
It already represents a massively tall order for the new managerial team of Adam Lockwood and Dave Penney to haul the Nethermoor outfit away from the relegation zone, but hope remains intact.
Rogerson said: “The general feeling is that we have got a squad who can put a few games (wins) together.
“Six points would make a big difference. Yes, it is going to difficult, but we have certainly not written the season off by any means and there is a long way still to go.”
Concurring with those sentiments, Lockwood said: “If we are not right and doing the things we want to do, you do not give yourselves a great chance of getting anything out of games at this level.
“If you get that right and look at your opponents and negate and exploit their strengths and weaknesses, you become a real team with a lot of potential moving forward.
“First and foremost, we have to be in a position to compete to win games and at times, we have taken charge and been unlucky.
“I am always a believer that you keep going and create your own luck. And if you keep doing things right, they will change.
“We have to now change them quicker with each game that goes by to give ourselves a chance and we will leave no stone unturned to do that.”
Guiseley head south tomorrow with a new defender in tow in the shape of Connor Brown, with the free agent having been brought in by Lockwood this week.
The Lions chief says that the addition of Sheffield-born Brown, 24, will stiffen up competition of the right-hand side of the Lions’ backline following his arrival.
The former Oldham and Sheffield United defender, who made over 100 appearances for the Latics, has been unattached for the last month – and will provide cover with regular right backs Danny East and Javan Vidal being sidelined by injury.
Brown’s signing follows on from last week’s capture of Leeds United youngster Billy Whitehouse on loan.
Lockwood said: “We want to make our squad as strong as possible for the challenges ahead and Connor comes in with a good pedigree.”
“We have had a few injuries of late, especially in the right-back position with Danny East and then Javan Vidal missing and Connor’s signing helps us to strengthen in that area.”
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver has described tomorrow’s FA Cup third qualifying round clash at FC United of Manchester as a “massive” game.
A believer in the “magic of the cup”, the Town boss believes that progressing in the competition will provided a huge boost for the club.
“Our main objective this season is to do well in the league, but an FA Cup run just adds that bit of magic,” he said.
“We saw it when we managed to beat Torquay, a side two leagues above us, two years ago.
“There is nothing quite like it. There is such excitement around the town, great interest in the club all of a sudden and you get more people through the turnstiles.
“We’re aiming for the same again this season, but if we are to progress any further then we have to negotiate a really tough tie at FC United.”
Harrogate have already beaten tomorrow’s opponents once this season, coming from behind to triumph by a 3-1 scoreline on home turf.
But despite this, Weaver says that his players will have to work hard if they are to secure a repeat performance.
“This will be a proper cup tie in front of a packed crowd, it’s certainly not going to be easy,” he added.
“We know how good they are having played them once already. We also had them watched recently, so there is no room for complacency.
“We have beaten them already this season, so we can take some confidence from that, but we have to make sure that we perform.
“We’ve got to work our socks off if we want to win the game, but keep our cool at the same time and play the game, not the occasion.”
The financial implications of progressing in the competition are also not lost on Weaver, whose side banked £4,500 for overcoming Bridlington Town in the previous round.
With £7,500 at stake on Saturday, Weaver added: “The money is a real bonus for clubs at this level.
“We’ve paid out to build new stands and laid a 3G pitch in recent years, so the extra cash you can earn really makes a difference.”
Elsewhere in the FA Cup tomorrow, Halifax Town host Stalybridge Celtic while Evo-Stik first Division North high-fliers Farsley Celtic have a home clash against Bishop Auckland.
FRICKLEY ATHLETIC will be looking to secure their fourth home win of the season when they host Barwell tomorrow in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
Athletic’s bid to make it five games unbeaten was thwarted on Tuesday when they lost 1-0 at Matlock. Division One leaders Brighouse Town will be looking to maintain their 100 per cent home record when they host Mossley.
Sixth-placed Tadcaster Albion travel to third-placed Bamber Bridge while mid-table Ossett Town face a long trip to Colwyn Bay.
Elsewhere, Ossett Albion host Kendal Town and Scarborough Athletic travel to Droylesden.
Fresh from their 11-0 thrashing of Barton Town Old Boys on Tuesday, NCE League Premier Division leaders Liversedge travel to next-to-bottom Parkgate on the search for goals.
Elsewhere in the Premier, Pickering Town host Maltby Main, Garforth Town travel to Barton Town Old Boys, Bridlington Town host Armthorpe Welfare, Hemsworth Miners Welfare take on Retford United and Harrogate Railway Athletic travel to Thackley.
In Division One, Knaresborough Town have a home clash against seventh-placed Grimsby Borough, sixth-placed Pontefract Collieries play at Brigg Town, AFC Emley travel to Campion, Glasshoughton Welfare host Nostell Miners Welfare, Selby Town entertain Winterton Rangers and Yorkshire Amateur play host to Eccleshill United.